Come to NCCP and bring the kids on Sunday, November 17 from 2:00-3:30 for a public Open House. Kids will enjoy a scavenger hunt, crafts, music, and more while the parents can tour the school and learn about all the exciting things happening at NCCP—including additions to their Outdoor Classroom, the “Kindness Initiative,” and the new Educational Advisor (and former South School principal) Joanne Rocco! Visit www.nccpreschool.org for more information or to schedule a private tour. You can also see what’s happening at NCCP by finding us on Instagram and Facebook.
Most educators can’t say they’ve had a colleague fall off the roof of their school wearing a chicken costume. For Joanne Rocco, though, this was just another day on the job. Rocco, who began her 27-year career in New Canaan Public Schools as a science teacher at South School, had borrowed a chicken costume from a parent to use in her “Egg Drop,” a science lesson where she dropped eggs from various levels of structures, including the roof of the school. When she was called away to go on a site visit with the superintendent, another teacher volunteered to take her place. Rocco returned to the school around 5 p.m. to be told that the teacher had fallen off the roof during the Egg Drop and was brought to the emergency room, all while wearing the costume.
On Valentine’s Day, many hearts simultaneously broke throughout New Canaan with a single widely distributed email.
As some swooned over loved ones or batted eyelashes at a crush, the much adored and longstanding principal of South School, Joanne Rocco, announced her retirement in an email to parents.
It was an email that launched a thousand forwarded messages, and reduced many to tears.
I received numerous frantic messages about the breaking news—or shall I say, heartbreaking news. Though I no longer have students at South, I felt a mix of immense sorrow for those families who will not know Ms. Rocco and absolute triumph that my kids attended “her” school. My family had six blissful years reaping the rewards of Joanne’s hard work and tenure. The thought of her absence is a big blow to our community.
And to pile on the hurt, it seems that our schools are getting hit hard this winter. Our Board of Education is fighting an uphill battle with town bodies to fully fund its proposed budget while in Hartford, the state government is flexing its muscular overreach, introducing bills that call for school regionalization.
I have officially exceeded my threshold and cannot take any more unexpected news regarding our schools.
Officials who help shape school safety policy in New Canaan are recommending training for all district staff in a new way of preparing students for violent incidents.
Members of the district’s Crisis Advisory Board, or ‘CAB,’ told the Board of Education last week that the powerful experiential training they’ve undergone in a more proactive approach to handling situations such as shootings should lead to new “lockdown” procedures at all public schools. In traditional lockdown drills, children go into a classroom and teachers all follow the same procedures, South School Principal and CAB member Joanne Rocco told the Board of Ed at its regular meeting Dec. 3. Those steps include “locking the door, pulling down the shades, turning off the lights and students would all go into one corner of the room where they weren’t visible and would just wait,” Rocco said. “So that was the traditional lockdown,” she said at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School.
Use of social media is nonstop among Saxe Middle School students and, with drugs and alcohol, represents a major danger facing New Canaan youth, safety officials said Monday night. No matter how much trusted adults warn middle school students about the pitfalls of social media, “it doesn’t matter,” New Canaan Police Officer Jeff Deak, the school resource officer at Saxe, told members of the Board of Education at their regular meeting. “And I throw into the mix the dangers of social media and you participating in illegal activities like vaping under 18, or drinking or doing drugs, and posting them,” he told the school board at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “Those issues, in my opinion—the alcohol, the drugs and the social media—are the big issues. I know some of you are looking saying, ‘What else is there?’ There are other parts.